Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” is a bracingly bitter blast at the television news/entertainment industry. Though it’s not apparent from the lyrics, part of the song’s inspiration comes from Henley’s anger at intrusive coverage of his own life in the wake of the breakup of The Eagles.
(The dedication to Rupert Murdoch in this video from The Eagles’ “farewell” tour is a particularly nice touch.)
One reason John Lennon is missed is his great, earthy sense of humor. “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” is as good a takedown of what has morphed into the “entertainment media” as their is in rock music over the last five decades, but it’s also brimming over with wit and ease:
The men from the press said, “We wish you success,
It’s good to have the both of you back”.
Christ you know it ain’t easy….
It’s not just the lyrics; it’s also the way Lennon delivers them and the musical embellishments he and McCartney (Ringo and George weren’t around for this one) toss in. It’s one thing for musicians to respond to their critics. It’s another to turn that response into a #1 song. (As it turned out, the last one released by The Beatles).
Written in 2002 at the height of his considerable machine-gun spray rapping powers, “‘Till I Collapse” takes on all of Eminem’s critics…and just in case he left anyone out, there are a few lines directed at “you“, whoever you may be.
(And yes, not surprisingly, it’s NSFW.)
It’s “Musicians Respond To Critics Week” here at MassCommons Global Headquarters and some folks in our Music Department are still chortling with glee over Sting’s “Nothin’ About Me”.
It’s got a reasonably funky groove…in an English lord of the manor sort of way…and there’s a certain exuberance in the defiant lyrics of the chorus. But I think what has folks laughing is this line in the bridge: “I’m a simple man, it’s no big mystery”. I mean, I can understand the man getting tired of questions about the breakup of The Police, and about his various musical and lifestyle explorations, but “a simple man“? High comedy.